June 05, 2024

NEW: Lacey Act Applies To All Plant Products

This Week's Insights

I joined the Hardwood Federation and about 60 other members for their annual Capitol Hill Fly-in on May 22 and May 23. Like last year, it was a great experience meeting with our elected representatives in the Senate and House to discuss our policy priorities including the Farm Bill, Jobs in the Woods Act, Hardwood Products Access and Development Act, and tax policy.

Our team met with members of Congress and staff from Virginia and West Virginia including Senator Capito (WV) and Representatives Cline (VA), Griffith (VA), and Miller (WV). Talking with these members of Congress did give me more hope for our policymaking in the coming years. DHA members, I hope you will join us during next year's fly-in, where we'll meet new congressional leadership and potentially new committee chairs.

If you have questions or comments, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association

NEW: Lacey Act Applies To All Plant Products

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the implementation of Phase VII of the Lacey Act. This extends coverage to a wider range of products. Now, declarations will be required for all plant products, including wooden furniture and timber, unless they are made of 100% composite materials.

Per the Federal Register notice: "Currently, most of HTS chapter 4412 has already been implemented, with two specified exemptions (44129906 and 441229957). APHIS established the exemptions in 2009 as a temporary exception for plywood that contained composite material. Since then, APHIS has established a special use designation for such material and is therefore eliminating the exemptions, and the entire chapter will be covered."


DHA, HF Push For Industry Priorities

DHA joined about 60 other members of the Hardwood Federation members in May for the Hardwood Federation annual fly-in. We met with more than 100 offices in the House and Senate during the day and with hardwood industry allies over dinner. The timing couldn't be better: the House Agriculture Committee began its markup of the proposed farm bill right after our in-person meetings about why key initiatives in the bill are essential for our industry. 

Cabinet Sales Fall

Cabinet sales volume fell by 6.3% year-to-date through April. The value of cabinets sold dropped by 6.9%. April sales volume was down by 2.5% vs. March

Biomass: IRS Proposes Rule On Clean Energy

The IRS will publish a proposed rule for the Clean Electricity Production Credit and Clean Electricity Investment Credit. The rule outlines the pathway for combustion and gasification technologies, like biomass, to be evaluated via a lifecycle analysis as required by the Clean Air Act. The guidance ties electricity generation to net zero carbon emissions.


Value Of Carbon Offsets Falls By 61%

The market for carbon offsets, which had grown to nearly $2 billion in 2022, plummeted by 61% to $723 million in 2023. The decline occurred after a number of scientific and media assessments showed that many offsetting schemes do not help mitigate climate change or biodiversity loss.


U.S. Sets Guidelines For Carbon Markets

The Biden administration published guidelines—not requirements—for responsible participation in voluntary carbon markets. Signed by White House officials and the Treasury, Agriculture, and Energy secretaries, the document shows government support with the disclaimer that current credits may not have the impact they claim.

Roseburg Featured On Manufacturing Marvels

DHA member Roseburg took center stage on the Fox Business Network's Manufacturing Marvels segment. The TV crew recently stopped by Roseburg's Riddle, OR, plant to see how Roseburg manufactures hardwood and softwood plywood from their own responsibly raised forests.


AHEC Brings Maple To Milan

At this year’s Salone del Mobile, the American Hardwood Export Council shone a spotlight on the beauty of maple. Two UK studios were commissioned to design and create furniture collections that are works of art, using maple as both material and inspiration. 


Will Logging In Canada's Famous Park Save It From Wildfires?

A sign of the growing need to protect forests from catastrophic wildfires, the caretakers of Banff National Park are cutting its trees to create fire guards. In these areas, nearly all trees have been removed to create buffers to prevent forest fires from decimating the park and nearby towns. Last winter was Canada’s warmest winter in history.

Senators Write Law To Combat Catastrophic Wildfires

The bipartisan National Prescribed Fire Act of 2024, recently introduced in the U.S. Senate, supports prescribed burns in cooler, wetter months as an essential, science-based strategy to save lives and property. In FY 2022, 63 million acres of National Forest Service lands were rated as at high or very high risk of wildfires. 

USFS Reassesses Wildfire Risk

The U.S. Forest Service reported that the risk of wildfire is greater than previously thought. USFS researchers concluded that about 33% of U.S. residents and buildings are at risk, after limiting their historical analysis to fifteen years to more accurately reflect how climate change has intensified heat, drought, and wildfires.

Single-Family Permits Rebound
Real GDP Grows By 1.3%
Mortgage Rates Increase To 7.03%
North American Lumber Prices Fall
Home Price Growth Slows
Nonfarm Employment Is Up By 175,000 Jobs
New Home Sales Down Due To Higher Mortgage Rates
Families Spend 38% Of Income On Mortgages
Single-Family Built-For-Rent Starts Are Growing
Wood Trivia: Test Your Knowledge

Who built the world's first wooden satellite?

Answer: LignoSat, the first wooden satellite, was built by Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry. It is scheduled to launch in September.


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